Beach Body!

About 6 weeks ago, I ordered the 21-day Fix from Beach Body and my first order of Shakeology. AND I FELL IN LOVE. The workouts are do-able, only 30 minutes, and I saw results. I then decided to do the 3-day Refresh – which, let me be clear, is not a cleanse, and is definitely not a colon cleanse as I had to reassure my husband several times. It’s to re-start your body and flush out processed foods that we tend to eat.

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So you only eat the shakes provided and fresh fruits and vegetables for 3 days. Everything is scheduled for you and packaged all nicely, except for your snacks and dinner. My favorites were hummus and carrots and the cucumber/tomato salad with vinaigrette. The salad can be seen below (but I didn’t have the spinach and turkey burger while doing the refresh). 

IMG_3972I didn’t see major changes but I felt better. And my favorite part was that I didn’t need coffee. I haven’t had coffee but once in the past 2 weeks. I lost about 2 lbs. on the refresh and I’ve now ordered PiYo which is a combination of pilates and yoga. While it’s still a high-intensity workout, there’s no jumping – which my knees will love me for! I’m sold on Beach Body and it’s products as I continue to see changes in my body. 

IMG_3415I also love that I can have real food like the turkey meatballs above. I do try to avoid cheese, milk and bread; although, I occasionally have some greek yogurt with berries and granola as a snack. Never hurts to have probiotics! 

IMG_3413I’m one of those people that gets hangry if I don’t have enough to eat, and I haven’t been that way while doing any of these programs. I’ve had plenty of food and even though I may technically be eating less than I would if I wasn’t on one of these plans, I am feeding my body the right foods and it’s loving it. 

I use the Shakeology for my breakfast and it tides me over until lunch most days. I have the chocolate vegan which tastes like brownie batter (I’m not kidding. A lady at work didn’t believe me today, asked me to taste it and couldn’t stop raving about it after her first sip). I’ve also tried the regular chocolate, vanilla and strawberry but our bodies absorb plant nutrients better, so that’s why I selected the vegan this go-around. I have it on a recurring shipment so I get a 30-day supply each month. I even ordered some extra packets for my upcoming trip to St. Martin so I can try to be healthy between pina coladas and mojitos. 

I decided to become a coach recently. My own coach has invited me to two challenge groups where I’m surrounded (virtually) by others who are doing Beach Body programs and we all encourage, motivate and inspire each other through posts of pictures, workouts, and meals. It’s such a great group and a great way to stay accountable and have a support system of people who are doing the exact same thing as you. I’m looking forward to hosting my first one with my very own team! 

If you have questions about Beach Body, Shakeology or any of the workouts, please feel free to reach out. I’d love to have a conversation with you and tell you more and welcome you to join one of our challenge groups so you can see how amazing it is for yourself! 

 

 

 

Life is short!

As we drove to the triangle area this weekend to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday, I found myself thinking about the first boy I ever fell in love with. He was cute, funny and nice and I was 16, so that’s all it took to sweep me off my feet. You see, two years ago as we drove to visit my in-laws for my FIL’s birthday, my phone started buzzing with texts and Facebook messages telling me that my sweet Scott had died in a car accident.

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Those words felt like a sucker punch and my breath was totally taken away. Now, at that time, I was madly in love with my husband and hadn’t talked to Scott in almost a year, but it didn’t lessen the hurt. I dialed my best friend’s number, while crying hysterically and shaking my head to my my (now) husband as he mouthed, “Do I need to pull over?” When Brittney picked up she just said, “Oh Ash…. ” and let me cry. Because that’s what best friends do. When I had finally calmed down my crying to a whimper we said goodbye, and my mom called. I think moms have a sixth sense for when daughters are crying from hundreds of miles away. I broke down again.

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My mom had listened to me cry over him for years and had also seen the way I lit up when I was around him. He left for the Marines when I was 17, breaking my heart for the first time. There were many more times, and many more reasons, but I always held out hope for us. I even told one guy on our second date that we probably wouldn’t work out and I’d end up with Scott. We even ran into him that night and he told that guy that if he hurt me he’d have to answer to him. I loved talking to him. He could make me laugh over the stupidest stuff. We ended up with a really great friendship and he asked me when I started dating my husband if it was serious and upon hearing me say “yes”, he decided to let me be happy and not interfere.

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I realized at some point that day that I had been called twice the night before by a number I didn’t recognize. The sinking feeling in my stomach told me it was him, and after a few quick messages to mutual friends, it was confirmed. I didn’t have his new number. I ignored the calls (it was 2 AM) and he didn’t leave a message. I would never know what he wanted when he called. And I don’t necessarily need to, but life is short. We don’t have all the time in the world to talk to people (or do all the things we want) like we think we do. We should make a point to reach out to people before it’s too late and tell them that we love them, catch up, stay current.

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I have sorority sisters all over the country that I need to do a better job of keeping up with (I am thankful for Michelle in Charlotte and our dates every few months). I need to make more plans to see friends and family or take the time to schedule a phone chat (Erica, me + you this week!). My BFF and I realized the other day we haven’t seen each other in MONTHS and we only live 2.5 hours apart.  While I think relationships/friendships should work both ways, we shouldn’t be scared (or too stubborn) to be the first one to reach out. You never know when it will be your last chance to talk to someone. I’ve heard so many crazy stories lately (heart attacks, fire ants, hit by a car while running…) that you just can’t assume you have time.

Not to sound all gloom and doom, this is more to prompt you to reach out to that college friend you loved so much but haven’t talked to lately, or cousin who moved to Ohio and you don’t get to see as often as you’d like, or your childhood BFF who now lives in San Diego and is 8 months pregnant. It’s so easy to send off a text, an email, or set aside 30 minutes to call someone. I challenge you to make plans to catch up with 3 people over the next 3 weeks. I bet you have a great chat, find out some new things and you might even make their day.

One year anniversary!

Yesterday marked one year of wedded bliss for me and my handsome husband. We’ve had a crazy busy year (new job + travel, buying a house, becoming landlords, personal travel, etc.) and it’s been pretty amazing.

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However, we discuss quite often that marriage is not all cotton candy and candy apples (not even in the first year). But marriage, as a committment you made in front of family and friends and most importantly, to each other, is a job. And it should be the job where you focus most of your energy. Not saying that it should be your toughest job, because if you’re with the right person, a lot of it comes easily and naturally. But it’s work to not snap at your sig-o when you’re hungry (or hangry, as I sometimes get), it’s work to step away from what you’re doing sometimes and focus on what your other half wants to do, sometimes we forget to put the phone/iPad down and listen to the other, sometimes we are preoccupied with our own thoughts, or sometimes we just want to be alone. But it’s important to remember that your other half is your partner, not your enemy. They’re on your side. They want to spend time with you, talk to you, and listen to you.

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My husband and I met as co-workers and I’m glad he’s still my co-worker in marriage. Working together is incredibly important. I know how much it bothers him when I slip my shoes off at the door instead of putting them in the closet, and while it seems like a REALLY LITTLE thing, it’s easy to get caught up in really little things that annoy you. It’s a really little extra step for me to walk over to the closet and something that I should do because I KNOW it bothers him. It’s important not to get caught up in the little things and to focus on the big picture.

Taken by Sarah Photography

Taken by Sarah Photography

Ever since we started dating we’ve talked about goals for our life and our future and we continue to fous on those. We love to travel and continue planning out trips to places domestic and international. We made a list of our Top 5 destinations for each and cross matched (3/5 on both lists were the same). We’re managing owning two houses, although it’s not ideal, and I never wanted to be a landlord, it’s working. The plus is that we’re building equity in our other home and when we DO sell, we’ll be better off. We’re working on making our new house very homey and enjoying spending time in our yard, our rocking chairs and screened-in porch. We’re both very career focused right now and fortunate to be with a good company and doing what we love, or at least what our degrees are in. And we get to spend plenty of time with friends and family (including our new baby niece!). And yes, kids are in the future just not right now.

Taken by Sarah Photography

Taken by Sarah Photography

We don’t have a perfect marriage, but we have a darn good one. We’re still falling in love with each other day over day, laughing until our bellies hurt and there for each other when there are tears. I try to focus on the good, be happy and cherish all the little moments. I saw a quote this morning that said:

The reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel.”

How true, and how very bad of us. What people post on social media is not them at their worst, it’s laughing, smiling, happiness. Try not to compare yourself, or your relationship to that of others. Try to focus on how to continue, every day, making your relationship the best it can be. Your marriage is yours and your husband’s and you’re the only ones responsible for making it work. Social media has us questioning things that don’t need to be questioned. Spend time in reality, loving the most, focusing on what matters and sticking to your vows. Spend time cultivating a marriage that other people desire. You have your own highlight reel that is by far the most important one in the world.

Two tickets to paradise!

Life has been busy, what’s new? We have so many wonderful things that I’m dying to share (nope, not pregnant!), but can’t just yet. We have to let a few more things fall into place and then all news can be shared. For the time being, I’ll share that we are headed to St. Martin (French side, although we’ll definitely explore the Dutch side) to sepnd 5 heavenly days frolicking on white sand beaches, dining on 5-star French cuisine and celebrating a year of marriage. Hard to believe it’s been a whole year (in less than 2 weeks). St. Martin is our big trip for this year and we’re back on for our European getaway next year. We’re thinking Ireland – London – France will be a nice combo. For this year? #TheWhitesDoStMartin

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My husband has already been checking out restaurants for our trip. I’m leaving the planning to him on that, he always chooses so well. Our honeymoon in Aruba was full of delicious food!

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First year anniversary gifts are supposed to be paper, so we’ll consider those airline tickets our gifts to each other. We’re much more into experiencing things together rather than purchasing physical items.

Baby Shower (7/13)

Baby Shower (7/13)

And before we head off to this spectacular Dutch/French island, we’ll be meeting our new neice, Andi, who is due to arrive on August 10th! Follow along on Instagram with hashtag #comeonAndi!

If you have suggestions of things to do/see or places to eat in St. Martin/Maarten, let me know! I always appreciate recommendations!

Looking back

Tomorrow makes 11 months that we have been married. Tomorrow is one year from the day that we drove out to our ceremony site and buried a bottle of bourbon (upside down, at the exact spot and time that we were to get married). Southern tradition tells you that you’ll have good weather on your wedding day if you do this (Southern tradition lied in our case but didn’t ruin the day!).

Having been almost an entire year, I’ve been sentimental and looking back at all of the photos leading up to our big day. Such as trying on dresses:

Engagement parties:

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Doing hair and make-up trials:

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Getting our marriage license in middle-of-nowhere SC and realizing we wouldn’t have an NC marriage license:

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Bachelorette parties (yes, multiple):

Bridal portraits in Blacksburg so I had a piece of “home” included in the wedding:

Rehearsing, and letting go of all of my stress the day before the wedding. Obviously, my groom wasn’t stressing either ;)

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Hard to believe it’s been almost a year and we’re already planning a getaway to celebrate our anniversary. We’ve certainly had some high-stress times with my grandfather leaving us, buying a new home and finding renters for our other home, LW taking a traveling job, fostering puppies (this was only stressful for the hubs, the puppy breath made it okay for me!). And we’ve had some really amazing times going to concerts, museums, hiking, traveling to PA, MD, VA, IL, FL, MA… and of course Aruba, buying a 2nd home, eating at a gazillion delicious restaurants, running 5ks together, and enjoying being husband and wife. So grateful for the memories we’ve made and looking forward to a hundred more years of them, and having this guy by my side.

 

Giveaways Galore!

I might be a bit of a giveaway junkie, well, when it’s for something that I would otherwise buy. This week has been FILLED with giveaways for things like craft beer VIP tickets, books,  running shoes, Jack Rogers, and monogrammed EVERYTHING. Naturally, I have entered all of them and am patiently waiting for my name to be called (or in our new social world, to be “posted” somewhere). I’m happy to share these awesome giveaways with you so that you can have your very own chance to win!

Craft beer for you Charlotteans (or folks close enough to drive): Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is opening their new Brew Haus on 8/15. Your chance for VIP tickets, free beer for a year and fun with friends can be claimed here!

Jack Rogers and Persifor Giveaway (ends Monday 7/14): Claim your shot at the perfect summer shoes by entering here!

Southern Weddings magazine: (ends 7/31) monogrammed goodness, along with another shot at Jack Rogers! You definitely don’t want to miss out on this summer goody bag, enter here!

Marley Lilly monogrammed goodness: At Marley Lilly, you can decide what you want to put your initials on, or you can put them on everything! Enter here for $100 dollars to spend at Marley Lilly. Ends in 9 days!

I’d love to know which giveaway is your favorite and if you decided to enter! Good luck to everyone, hopefully you’ll be walking around in Jack Rogers with a monogrammed bag, necklace and beach hat and sipping on an Olde Meck Captain Jack next time I see you!

Friends, Fireworks and the Fourth of July!

Hope everyone had an enjoyable 4th of July! We were fortunate to get to hang out with our friends, enjoy lots of sunshine and have a front-row seat for the fireworks (Thanks, Seth!). My husband wasn’t traveling this week since there was a holiday, so we got to spend lots of time together at home. We watched some funny movies, did some yardwork and took our boys to the Whitewater Center for a 3-mile hike. While I think his current job is a great career move, the boys and I miss him when he’s gone during the week and we’re thankful for the weeks when we get to have him at home with us.
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On Wednesday (the 2nd), I did NoDa Run Club in the sweltering heat. I ended up running 3.75 miles which was pretty good for me because I haven’t been focusing on my running lately. I joined a new HIIT gym and am hoping to see results from it that I’m no longer seeing from running.

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However, my love of running is pushing me to sign up for the distance challenge offered in Charlotte. It’s a combination of races, starting with a 5k and building up to a half marathon or full marathon. Clearly, I would do the half because I have no desire to do a full but I haven’t signed up just yet. Our boys donned their patriotic bandanas on our walks over the weekend and one obviously enjoyed it more than the other.

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On the 4th, we went to the Plaza Midwood Pig Pickin’ with two other couples and their adorable children. The weather was absolutely fantastic in Charlotte, so we had the perfect day to be hanging out outside.

4thofjulyfriendsGrown up jobs, kids (not ours!), and busy lives in general make it hard to get together as often as we’d all like, but we’re so thankful when we are all able hang out. I’m especially thankful for the friendship that these girls offer and that they live in Charlotte. Having had the same “best friends” for most of my life and not having any of them in Charlotte was tough when I first moved here; finding awesome friends who share common interests made the transition much easier!

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LW and I wore our most patriotic outfits for America’s birthday. This was the 8th photo that was taken of us before we finally nailed one where we were both smiling.

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We headed over to our friend’s condo uptown as it started to get dark. We were given a front-row seat to the fireworks from his balcony. We arrived with Prosecco, chocolate chip cookies (with M&Ms) and patriotic cheesecake squares (I added blueberries for a red, white and blue treat!). We got there in time to see this stunning sunset over the new Knights stadium.

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The fireworks show was incredible. There were several times we thought it was over and then a new round of sparkly explosions would occur. The flood of people in the streets and from the stadium was incredible. We could see fireworks beyond the stadium as well, all over the city and surrounding areas there were pops of lights on the horizon. It was absolutely amazing – especially from that vantage point!

And I can’t forget to share this photo of two of my favorite people in Charlotte. Seth moved here around the same time as me (6 years ago!). He’s been such a good friend to me over the years and never fails to make me laugh. He introduced us to Scott and we quickly learned that Scott is also awesome and quite the chef!

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We managed to pack a ton of fun into our week and weekend together and I wouldn’t change a thing. We ate at several of our favorite local restaurants, went to a baseball game, and spent time with friends which was one of our “resolutions” for the new year (to do MORE of this and not say “no” when someone asks). Back to the grind today and waiting for the next holiday week…. is it Labor Day yet?

Growing together!

When we bought our new house, we walked around the backyard talking about where we would put our garden and we found the perfect spot, right in the sun and against our white picket fence.

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We could have probably planned a little more real-estate for said garden but it’s doing just fine for the zucchini, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and herbs that we planted. We had also planted spinach since I go through about a pound a week but a rabbit dug it up and stole it. The whole plant. Gone.

It’s been so fun to come home in the afternoons (especially after a big rain) and see how much everything has grown. And secretly hoping that my tomatoes have ripened. There’s nothing better than a tomato straight from the garden.

This week, our squash and zucchini have grown tremendously and I was finally able to pick some.

And we were able to pick our first blackberry (actually we got the 2nd one, a bird stole the first one).

We’re not trying to live off the land or anything but we do enjoy having fresh veggies and fruit when we want; and I use our herbs almost every day for our meals, er, my meals since my husband is traveling and will see these photos at the same time as the rest of the world (and I will have devoured the squash and zucchini by the time he gets home).

A few more days before our tomatoes are ready, maybe even early next week. Several are about the size of my fist, and we have about 15 more that are growing by the day. I’m just so excited to have this many already growing – we didn’t have much luck at our old place, maybe getting 5 tomatoes all season.

And ta-da, our very first zucchini (first one I’ve ever grown!). The last picture is to give my husband an idea of the size.

I remember my grandfather building a garden plot for us when I was younger but contrary to the image growing up on a farm provides, I really have never been much of a “dig in the dirt” kind of girl. Now? I love it. We are already planning next year’s garden, but so very excited to enjoy this one THIS year.

The great closet clean-out!

Cleaning out my closet! Lots of brand new items, even more barely worn items!  Shipping: If you need the item shipped, it will be $5.00 for one, $7.00 for two, $8.00 for 3. Comment on the post with your paypal email address and which dress you want and I’ll send you and invoice and ship all items that are paid for by Friday of this week. All items are in excellent condition (most only worn once) and will be noted if they are New With Tags (NWT). So here we go:

**Happy shopping!**

Lilly Pulitzer Danna dress | size Small | $65

Lilly Pulitzer Danna dress | size Small | $65

Anthropologie Greylin Melusine Dress | Medium | worn once | $50

Anthropologie Greylin Melusine Dress | Medium | worn once | $50

J Crew | Small | Summer 2014 | $20

J Crew | Small | Summer 2014 | $20

Banana Republic Khaki Skirt | size 2 | $10

Banana Republic Khaki Skirt | size 2 | $10

Banana Republic Skirt | size 2 | $15

Banana Republic Skirt | size 2 | $15

Victoria's Secret bra top dress | SMALL | Worn once | $18

Victoria’s Secret bra top dress | SMALL | Worn once | $15

J Crew button up | pink | XS | $15

J Crew button up | pink | XS | $15

J Crew floral skirt | size 2 | $15

NEW J Crew floral skirt | size 2 | $15

J Crew | size 0 | Periwinkle | EUC | $15

J Crew | size 0 | Periwinkle | EUC | $15

 

 

NEW Victoria's Secret | Hot pink stripes | Small | Liner still in place | $12

NEW Victoria’s Secret | Hot pink stripes | Small | Liner still in place | $12

Old Navy - Small - $12 (worn once on honeymoon)

Old Navy – Small – $10

Lilly Pulitzer - 8 *ALTERED for approx. size 4* Measurements: Armpit to Armpit: 17", under bust 15", waist 15", length 34" - $60

Lilly Pulitzer – size 8 *ALTERED for approx. size 4* Measurements: Armpit to Armpit: 17″, under bust 15″, waist 15″, length 34″ – $60

Ann Taylor Loft patterned Chambray shorts - size 2 - NWT - $15

Ann Taylor Loft patterned Chambray shorts – size 2 – NWT – $15

 

Banana Republic - Size 0 - NWT - $20 (paid 45)

Banana Republic – Size 0 – NWT – $15 (paid 45)

Banana Republic (not Factory) | 4P | $30

Banana Republic (not Factory) | 4P | $25

Anthropologie - Burlapp | Small | Polyester Blend

Anthropologie – Burlapp | Small | Polyester Blend | $20

Banana Republic | size 2 | Silk/Polyester - $20

Banana Republic | size 2 | Silk/Polyester – $15

J Crew | size 2 | Silk Taffeta Blakely from Wedding Collection

J Crew | size 2 | Silk Taffeta | $60
Blakely from Wedding Collection

Lilly Pulitzer | size 4 | 100% Cotton | $50

Lilly Pulitzer | size 4 | 100% Cotton | $40

Banana Republic | Summer pants | size 2 | Martin Fit | $15

Banana Republic | Summer pants | size 2 | Martin Fit | $15

Blue/Black striped maxi | Smal | $12

Blue/Black striped maxi | Smal | $12

LOFT grey skirt with pockets | 0 | $10

LOFT grey skirt with pockets | 0 | $10

Banana Republic Skirt  | 0 | has pockets/belt loops | $10

Banana Republic Skirt | 0 | has pockets/belt loops | $10

LOFT NWT Wool pants | grey plaid | Size 2 | $15

LOFT NWT Wool pants | grey plaid | Size 2 | $15

Leopard Print Shoes | size 6 | NWT | $12

Leopard Print Shoes | size 6 | NWT | $12

LOFT Wrap Dress | size 2 | $15

LOFT Wrap Dress | size 2 | $15

J Crew Embossed Strapless dress | Size 2 | $20

J Crew Embossed Strapless dress | Size 2 | $15

All items come from smoke free home. Items are also listed for sale on other sites and will be removed if sold. Nothing like new dresses at discount prices! Happy Shopping!

My Best Friend’s Wedding(s)

This is definitely the year of weddings for us. We have been invited to 7 and have already attended 3. At this point, I would consider us professional wedding guests/party members.

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Two of the three weddings this year were for my best friends from high school. I’m lucky to be able to still call these girls friends and that we have maintained our friendship over the years. Amy had a blissful beach wedding in Ocean Isle and Brittney had a rustic chic farm wedding just outside of Blacksburg, VA. Both of them were stunning and amazing and absolutely perfect.

Amy’s gorgeous beach details were simple yet classy. I love the DIY touches of painted wood and chalkboards everywhere. She even had a signature cocktail served during the cocktail hour. My favorite part was her lace dress. It was absolutely exquisite and was clearly made for her.

I couldn’t be happier for Clay and Amy as they sealed the deal 10 years after meeting. Their day was truly a decade in the making and absolutely perfect.

Brittney’s wedding was also perfect, but the complete opposite of the beachy setting Amy had. Brittney got married at Sinkland Farms in Virginia. Hilariously enough, we used to go to parties there when we were in high school. There are several spots at the farm to get married, and Brittney chose up on the hill with the mountains in the background.

10441149_10100879461768673_7720758303346916939_nChalkboards are still in style for weddings, obviously, and what great decorations they make. Brittney gave us the most darling robes for being her bridesmaids, which we donned as we had our hair and make up done.

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We each picked our own style of dress from J Crew’s silk chiffon collection in ‘Bright Coral.’

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The flower girl was Brittney’s 22-month old daughter who is just about the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

The barn is already so well decorated, it’s an easy choice for the reception. My favorite piece is the mason jar chandelier! Brittney used coral roses and sparkly white table cloths on the tables, and whisky barrels outside also held mason jars full of roses.

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A local country band performed at the reception and guests danced the night away. I must say, early summer weddings have had perfect weather. These two couldn’t have asked for a better day to say their vows outside.

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And to top off the evening, my Hokie-loving husband and I snagged a picture with non-other than Frank Beamer. Such a special evening for special friends.

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So happy for both of my sweet friends and grateful to have been a part of their celebrations. From 15 to forever!